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The Downlink

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More Issues

Feature: Exoplanets

2 March 2020

Your Guide to Exoplanets

Learn why and how we study exoplanets, and how you can get involved.

2 March 2020

Our Exoplanets Research

Scientists are searching for 100 Earth-like planets around other stars, and you can help.

Swapna Krishna ● 12 March 2020

What is the Habitable Zone?

The habitable zone is the not-too-hot, not-too-cold region around a star where liquid water can exist.

Emily Lakdawalla ● 2 March 2020

The Different Kinds of Exoplanets
You Meet in the Milky Way

Lava worlds. Hot Jupiters. Earth 2.0 candidates. Here's a rundown of some notable exoplanets.

Emily Lakdawalla & Staff ● 2 March 2020

How to Search for Exoplanets

Some methods almost sound like science fiction: Using gravity as a magnifying glass, watching stars wobble at turtle-like speeds, and searching for tiny dips in starlight.

2 March 2020

Your guide to WFIRST

WFIRST, NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, is the next step in our hunt for Earth-sized exoplanets.

Blogs & Articles

The Downlink: Mars Rover Unpacked in Florida, New Data from Search for Life

The Planetary Society • February 21, 2020 • 1

Planetary exploration news for busy people

The Downlink: NASA Considers Missions to Venus, Io, and Triton

Jason Davis • February 14, 2020 • 9

Planetary exploration news for busy people

Fun With a New Data Set: The OSIRIS-REx Earth Flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • February 28, 2019

The OSIRIS-REx team recently issued their first data release to the Planetary Data System. This release doesn’t include any closeup pictures of asteroid Bennu, but it does include all the pictures they took during their September 2017 Earth flyby.

Imaging the Earth from Lunar orbit

Cees Bassa and Tammo Jan Dijkema • October 15, 2018

Radio amateurs around the world worked together to take an image of the Earth and the far side of the Moon.

NASA Then & Now

Bruce Betts • October 02, 2018 • 2

A collection of before and after slider images showing how views of planets in our solar system have changed over the years since NASA was created.

Favorite Astro Plots: The Pyroxene Quadrilateral

Melissa Lane • June 15, 2018

Petrology is a field of science in which scientists study the compositions of rocks and minerals and interpret their geologic history. A common graph petrologists use is the “pyroxene quadrilateral.” These graphs, like photos of space, can reveal an understanding of the remotest parts of the solar system.

Big news from the magnetosphere

Geoffrey Reeves • June 05, 2018

At five years and counting, the Van Allen Probes mission continues to reshape our thinking about how Earth’s radiation belts flex and reconfigure under the influence of solar storms.

The curious case of the Apollo 4 Earth images

Jason Davis • May 23, 2018 • 2

Revisiting images of Earth taken from the uncrewed Apollo 4 command module in 1967.

#LPSC2018: What the Moon's craters tell us about Earth's past climate

Sriparna Saha • April 08, 2018

You might be surprised to learn that studying craters on the Moon can tell us about ancient Earth.

#LPSC2018: Fungi in the lab, hot springs frozen cold, and exploding lakes

Emily Lakdawalla • March 29, 2018

The first astrobiology session at last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference featured talks on a huge variety of interesting topics, and was one of my favorite sessions at the meeting.

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